Blog by Steve Laug
The next pipe on the table is the second of a pair of Oom Paul pipes that my brother Jeff picked up in from a guy in Texas. I wrote a blog about the cleanup of that one already. It is the pipe shown on the left side in the photo below. It was a Siena Artistica Oom Paul. The link to the previous blog is: (https://rebornpipes.com/2018/09/04/finally-a-simple-restoration-a-siena-artistica-oom-paul/). The second pipe is shown on the right side of the photo above. It is also a full bent Oom Paul but it has a smooth finish. The finish was in rough condition and was a Cordovan colour. There were a lot of nicks and damaged fills on the sides of the pipe. It has some great grain that shows through the grime on the bowl sides. Once it is cleaned and repaired that grain should show through nicely. The pipe is stamped on the left side of the shank Prince of Wales over Hand Made. There is no other stamping on the shank or bowl. The rim top was dirty and there were nicks and dents in the crowned surface. Fortunately there was no damage on the inner and outer edges of the bowl. The bowl had a light cake in it that would be easy to deal with. The stem was acrylic and variegated red. It had some tooth chatter and scratching on both sides near the button. Jeff took photos of the pipe before he started his cleanup up work. He took a closeup photo of the rim top showing that it was quite clean. The crowned surface was nicked and scratched. The edges of the bowl look very good. There is a light cake in the bowl. The stem was in good condition. There was some tooth chatter and scratches on the top and underside near the button.He took several photos of the finish to show the largest damaged fill on the right side of the bowl. The first photo gives an overview of the right side of the bowl and shank. You can see the wear and tear on the finish and the nicks and scratches. There is also a damaged fill mid bowl. The second photo shows the damaged fill clearly.The next photo shows the stamping on the shank and on the Scottish flag logo on the left side of the stem.I turned to the two websites that I regularly check for background on pipe brands. The first was Pipedia. I found the brand listed and the short description on the wiki that linked the brand to GBD pipes. It stated that it is a GBD sub-brand (https://pipedia.org/wiki/Prince_Of_Wales). It also included a link to the second site that I check, Pipephil. There it said that the brand was made in England. It bears the Scottish flag (X-shaped cross representing the cross of the Christian martyr Saint Andrew, the patron saint of Scotland) as logo. I did a screen capture of the stamping on the shank and stem that was included on the site. I include that below (http://www.pipephil.eu/logos/en/logo-p5.html). The stamping on shank read Prince of Wales over Hand Made like the screen capture above. It is very readable and clean. Jeff had scrubbed the exterior of the bowl with Murphy’s Oil soap and removed the dust and grime that had accumulated there. The finish was damaged but was worn and needed some repairs once it had been scrubbed. He reamed the bowl with a PipNet Pipe reamer and cleaned up the remnants of cake with a Savinelli Fitsall Pipe Knife. He cleaned the interior of the mortise and the airway in the shank and the stem with alcohol, cotton swabs and pipe cleaners. The pipe came to me clean and ready to do the restoration. I took some photos of the pipe to show the condition at this point in the process. I took a photo of the rim top and to show the condition of the surface of the rim. There is some darkening on the inner edge of the bowl and a lot of nicks and surface damage. I also took close up photos of the stem to show its condition. There is some light tooth chatter and tooth marks on both sides near the button but otherwise it is in good condition.I took some photos of the bowl sides to show the dents, nicks and faulty fills that would need to be addressed in the restoration. I repaired the damaged areas on the bowl sides with clear super glue to smooth out the damage. Once they cured I would sand them smooth to blend them into the bowl. Because there were so many damaged areas it would require restaining the bowl.It did not take too long for the repairs to cure. I sanded the repaired areas smooth with 220 grit sandpaper. I took photos of the bowl after the sanding to show the spotted, leprous look of the bowl after sanding. To further blend the repairs into the bowl surface I would need to stain it again. In preparation for restaining I wiped the bowl down with isopropyl alcohol to remove much of the previous stain. I restained the pipe with my Fiebing’s Tan stain – remember it is mislabeled and is actually a cordovan stain. I applied it and flamed it with a lighter to set it in the briar. I repeated the stain/flame process until the coverage around the bowl was even.I let the stain set over night and in the morning wiped the bowl down with isopropyl on cotton pads to unveil the newly stained pipe. The pipe looked better. The fills were visible if you looked for them but they looked far better than when I had started. I rubbed the bowl down with Before & After Restoration Balm to deep clean the briar bowl and the rim top as well as the briar shank. I also have found that it really helps to blend a restain on briar. The product works to clean, enliven and protect the briar. I hand rubbed it with my fingers, working it into the exterior of the pipe. After it had been sitting for a little while, I buffed it with a soft cloth to polish it. The pipe really began to have a rich shine. I took some photos of the bowl at this point to mark the progress in the restoration. I set the bowl aside and turned my attention to the stem. I used a folded piece of 220 grit sandpaper to sand out the tooth chatter and marks on both sides of the stem just ahead of the button. They were not deep so it did not take too much to remove them.I polished the stem with micromesh sanding pads – wet sanding with 1500-2400 grit pads and dry sanding with 3200-12000 grit pads. I wiped the stem down after each pad with a damp cloth to remove the sanding dust on the vulcanite. When I finished polishing and wiping it down I set it aside to dry. I polished stem and bowl with Blue Diamond to polish out the remaining small scratches. I gave the bowl and the stem multiple coats of carnauba wax. I buffed the pipe with a clean buffing pad to raise the shine. I hand buffed it with a microfiber cloth to deepen the shine. The pipe polished up pretty nicely. The dark undercoat and the cordovan combine to give the briar depth and a rich look. The polished variegated red and burgundy acrylic stem work together with the stained briar to give the pipe a rich look. The finished pipe is shown in the photos below. This is a beautiful smooth finish Oom Paul made by GBD. The pipe has already found a new home. The shape, finish and flow of the pipe and stem are very well done. The dimensions are Length: 6 inches, Height: 2 3/4 inches, Outside diameter of the bowl: 1 3/4 inches, Chamber diameter: 3/4 inches. This one will join the rusticated Oom Paul and soon be on its way to the southern US. Its new trustee is looking forward to firing up both of these pipes. Thanks for walking through the restoration with me as I worked over this unique Oom Paul.